Contributed by Noreen Sumpter, Personal Life Coach


It is unfortunate but most of the recipients of downward dating love the idea of dating you.  They love what you do, what you have but they subconsciously are frightened that you may not be interested in them.  They subconsciously don’t like what you are, as you represent all that they are not and this dredge’s up their insecurity.  Downward dating people derive pleasure from you because it gives them an opportunity to inflate their already timorous ego.

They love what you represent, that you have an education and the social accoutrement or any other accolades whether earned, learned or born with.  They love that you have your own money that is oftentimes, more than theirs.  On the other hand, with downward dating there is no dedication. It’s just bragging which could later be at your mental expense and discredit.

Some downward dating partners are only capable of trying to break you down.  The relationship is lop-sided.  Your partner can become spiteful, downright nasty and mean spirited.  Downward daters are for the most part only really interested in themselves and making you wrong.  Their level of insecurity is very high and they believe internally that they are not deserving.

Downward daters will continually ask questions that you can’t answer in the way they want such as, “Why are you really interested in me?”  Duh, you’re interested in them because you like them.  They cannot believe that and are extremely adamant that you’re not being truthful and even believe that you’re trying to use them. They do not hear or listen to what is being said in a conversation; they only hear their internal conversation and make up things that were not said nor intended. Their perspective is not based in reality.

Downward dates and daters come in all shapes, sizes, colors and creeds.  This incessant dialogue is very dysfunctional.  This is when you leave the interaction (Run now!)

Many people have downward dated at some point in their life.   Even if you can fake amnesia and plead the 5th you’ve done it.

Here is my experience with downward dating.

I dated a man with less money then me.  I knew upfront that he could not afford to attend a lot of the things that I invited him to, so I would foot the bill if I really wanted to go. I didn’t have a problem with sharing, but when my sharing became a problem, the relationship become uncomfortable.  His ego, was getting a little roughed up about not having extra play money.  I did not do it deliberately.  If I was digging down into my savings or spending above my means, I would have said something. Unfortunately, my guy had not mastered the concept of self-expression and he had difficulty expressing his feelings about my money.  Our relationship became increasingly difficult and it became progressively more difficult having certain conversations.   So he proceeded to make me wrong. Eventually we broke up.

Today my opinion is this: If you’re venturing into a situation like this, you’re probably setting yourself up for failure.  Work with me here, you have spent a number of years building up your education credentials and that education has increased your socio economic standing only to find that you are not dating on an level playing field. You have little in common with them and furthermore they resent you for it.  It is important to date with clarity.  It takes time to get to know people.  It is also important that you give yourself time to get to know the people you’re interacting with and that you do not compromise your spirit.

I know many men and woman complain that they are sad and that they feel alone.  Even in a relationship, amongst family, friends or in a group, we can feel alone.  Alone, is a feeling, not our truth. The key is to accepting being alone is checking whether this is true for you. Then choosing what you want to do with what you know.  Rejecting your findings that you are alone will not only make you feel better about being alone, it will prevent you from jumping into relationships that do not support your energy and what you are up to in your life.   It is healthy to look at yourself with a critical yet compassionate eye so that you can make the decisions that only you can and will say are right for you. If you let lonely choose for you, you’ll be in a relationship that will have you whirling and not in a good way.

We invite you to share your thoughts about Downward Dating in the comment box below and send your questions for Nourishing Nibbles to:



Noreen Sumpter, Personal Life Coach: works with High Achievers who feel trapped in their private life.  They lack personal confidence and self-esteem. By helping them clear mental clutter and dissolve limiting beliefs, they can take deliberate steps, own their voice, speak their truth and have the freedom to live life their way.  “Live Life Your Way” 

   “Live Life Your Way”

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